Nets' Updated Roster, Starting Lineup After James Harden Trade

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJanuary 13, 2021

Houston Rockets guard James Harden dribbles against the Los Angeles Lakers during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2021, in Houston. (Troy Taormina/Pool Photo via AP)
Troy Taormina/Associated Press

The good news? The Brooklyn Nets have three of the NBA's top 15 players after acquiring James Harden

The bad news? Not much else is left.

The four-team trade between the Nets, Houston Rockets, Cleveland Cavaliers and Indiana Pacers will go down as one of the biggest in-season deals in NBA history.

Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported the Rockets received Victor Oladipo, Dante Exum, Rodions Kurucs, three unprotected Brooklyn Nets first-round picks (2022, 2024, 2026), four unprotected Nets pick swaps (2021, 2023, 2025, 2027) and a 2022 Milwaukee Bucks first-round pick (via Cleveland). The Cavaliers added Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince, while the Indiana Pacers acquired Caris LeVert and a second-round pick.

But the major piece here is Harden, who will team up with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving to create one of the fiercest scoring trios in NBA history. Here is a look at how the Nets' roster looks after the deal.

PG: Kyrie Irving*, Bruce Brown, Chris Chiozza
SG: James Harden, Joe Harris, Landry Shamet, Tyler Johnson
SF: Jeff Green, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot
PF: Kevin Durant, Reggie Perry
C: DeAndre Jordan, Nicolas Claxton

Projected starters in italics.

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(*Kyrie Irving is not currently with the team.)

Irving remains away from the team with no timetable to return for "personal reasons." The NBA is currently investigating video of Irving seemingly attending a party at a bar without a mask that has been making the rounds on social media. Players are prohibited from being at bars or clubs and attending large social gatherings due to COVID-19 restrictions.

While no one knows when Irving will return, the Nets have a championship-ready Big Three when he does. Irving, Durant and Harden is perhaps the greatest offensive trio in NBA history, each capable of scoring anywhere on the floor, taking a defender off the dribble and finishing at the rim.

Defense may be more of an issue, and relying on DeAndre Jordan at this point in his career certainly isn't an advisable proposition. That said, filling out a roster with role players is far easier than acquiring three in-their-prime superstars.